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  #1  
Old 04-05-2009, 03:09 AM
Coral Coral is offline
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Default My 1960 Squarebird

I first saw her as the garage doors were slowly swung back - it was damp and dark..she had been there alone for 10 yrs., waiting...
All I really saw first were the tail lights, and how they were solid and in one piece, the fella handed me the keys and said I could try to open the trunk, but he was sure the lock was froze up...I touched the feathers and it dropped down, I poked the key in and the lid sprung up, almost knocking me in the chin.
With the little light I had on my key chain, I gingerly touched a few cardboard boxes, they were very old and crumbled directly..but inside were glistening bits of chrome...
I walked to the drivers door and shined my light onto the dash, it was covered with some sort of black drawer liner, and sagged in a few places.
I opened the door and flipped my light about, then closed it.
It was a solid THUNK as it shut.
I went around to the front, and although I couldn't get in front of her, I could see her big grin with my tiny light.

I turned to the fella and said I'll take her, let me make a phone call.

He looked at me and said "really?...you know it doesn't run and has no brakes...how are you going to get it out of here?"

I replied not to worry, I'll have the car out of here before the days end. ( The property had been sold and was being cleared out )

I made a call to a friend with a tow truck, and he rolled over and pulled her out of the garage, and onto his flatbed.
She sat outdoors for about 2 weeks at his yard, amongst the repairs to be done, towed/impounded vehicles, and of course the junk...

When my uncle had a chance, he went to collect her for me with his trailer...I had just told him I bought a rebuilder project and left it at that. ( He's a Corvette / Chevy Man ) and nearly passed out when I pointed her out to him as we drove up....

He looked at me, and truly, I felt bad...but I have never cared for 'vettes, and only been in three of them, they are NOT comfy in any sense of the word! Although, some are pretty to look at.

He blinked a few times, then got out of the truck.... he walked around Coral a few times, then finally reached his hand out to tap a few places here and there with his fingers ( he's a long time body man/fiberglass specialist )
He opened the drivers door and closed it, and a flitter of a smile crossed his lips as the door went CLUNK.

So, we hauled her to my house.

Will continue....
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  #2  
Old 04-05-2009, 03:41 AM
Coral Coral is offline
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...As we rolled her off the trailer onto my parking slab.. my uncle looked at me and said..."what made you buy this car?"

I turned to him and said, "not really sure JUST what it was...but I think She's beautiful.."
And he smiled...and said "well thats all it takes"
( He did about the same thing with a '63 vette - purdy car I have to admit )

My first step was to clean her up a bit, check out the missing pieces on the body to the chrome/parts in the trunk.
All the holes were accounted for, including 4 hubcaps - will photo those tomorrow-

Secondly, I researched the car itself, but that was a dead end
hadn't been registered in 10 yrs.

Since she hadn't been running, I knew I need to get into the engine and start there.
The hood opening "the other way" blew my mind for a second, LOL which was followed directly by how cool is THAT!

I removed the valve covers, scraped the gunk out, squirted some oil around the pistons, replaced the seals.
Replaced the spark-plugs, etc. and cleaned out the gas tank - talk about varnish!

I popped in a battery..and sat down in the drivers seat

I put the key in and waited...my heart was going about 290 at this point...I had all 4 tires blocked, in case something happened like jumping into gear...and turned the key

I have never felt so CHARGED UP by hearing a motor run and hum along...
Purred like a kitten... revved like a mountain lion.... ( only twice )

I didn't want to turn the car off...but since I wasn't sure about the radiator and all...decided I was was doing alright and not to push the envelope!

I had my uncle Coral over to his mechanic buddy to do up the brake system..I've replaced pads before, but the whole 9 yards I thought was best left to a pro...since if you screw it up YOUR purdy much screwed as well... depending on your speed at the time...and my WHOLE family has a very Very heavy right foot!

Will continue...
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  #3  
Old 04-05-2009, 03:44 AM
Coral Coral is offline
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News of today:
Coral will be entered into the T-Bird Registry shortly!
Here is her info:

VIN# OY71Y52459
Body: 63A
Color: M
Trim: 52
Date: 27D
Trans: 4
Axle: 3

Cathie
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  #4  
Old 04-05-2009, 04:17 AM
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YellowRose YellowRose is offline
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Default My 1960 Squarebird

Hi Cathie,

According to the Data Plate breakdown here is what Coral was when she rolled out the factory door..

VIN# OY71Y52459 0 = 1960 Y = Built in Wixom 71 = 2 Dr Hardtop Serial number is only 5 digits - 52459
Body: 63A - 2 Dr Hardtop
Color M - Corinthian White
Trim: 52 - Dark Blue/Light Blue
Date: 27D - Born 27 April
Trans: 4 - Cruise-O-Matic
Axle: 3 - 3.10 Ratio

So according to the Data Plate info, she was a 2 Dr Hardtop, had a FE 352, 4BBL, was painted Corinthian White all over, with Dark Blue/Light Blue interior, born on the 27th of April, with a Cruise-O-Matic tranny and a 3.10 axle.. Down the road, someone has repainted her, and changed out the interior to the standard black and white, it looks like. Cathie sent me some pix of what she looked like. I think since then, Cathie has gotten her cleaned up some.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Coral60ExteriorRear.jpg (6.4 KB, 162 views)
File Type: jpg Cora60lEngine.jpg (23.0 KB, 164 views)
File Type: jpg Coral60InstrumentCluster.jpg (22.0 KB, 160 views)
File Type: jpg Coral60Interior.jpg (16.1 KB, 161 views)
File Type: jpg 60TbirdCoral1.jpg (139.1 KB, 165 views)
File Type: jpg 60TbirdCoralrear.jpg (51.9 KB, 160 views)
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Last edited by YellowRose : 04-05-2009 at 01:13 PM. Reason: Additional comments
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  #5  
Old 04-05-2009, 11:54 AM
RustyNCa RustyNCa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coral View Post
I removed the valve covers, scraped the gunk out, squirted some oil around the pistons, replaced the seals.
Replaced the spark-plugs, etc. and cleaned out the gas tank - talk about varnish!

I have never felt so CHARGED UP by hearing a motor run and hum along...
Purred like a kitten... revved like a mountain lion.... ( only twice )


Will continue...
Very cool that you got it running. But a bit of advice on running the motor.

I did the same thing with my 58, ran it about 3 months till a small chunk of one of the umbrella seals got into the oil pump while we were driving down the freeway.

You need to picture this, you are blazing away down the freeway, enjoying the car, in the fast lane, look down and note.... zero oil pressure . By the time you get the car out of traffic and onto the side of the road, the motor is knocking, not a good sound.

You go get the car trailer, haul the bird home, pull the oil pan and find the oil pump shaft in three pieces. Pull the oil pump out and note that it won't turn. Pull it apart and find that there is a hole in the screen and wonder.... why did Ford put that there? Next you note that there is what appears to be a small rock wedged into the pump gears... and again wonder where did that come from?

You then pull the valve covers and note that the umbrella seals seem to have mostly disappeared.

So the moral of the story.... I bought a 390 and noticed that motor had dried up seals also... I am now very careful to check those babys....

What they are is a small rubber seal that sits on the valve stem and rests against the head. Replacing them isn't to difficult if you have the correct tools.
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  #6  
Old 04-05-2009, 01:01 PM
Coral Coral is offline
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I think I would faint.....

I am not disillusioned work is FAR from over...and for the most part just turning it over, start and run for a few seconds here and there is all I do until its safe to do more...

Cathie
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  #7  
Old 04-05-2009, 03:32 PM
Coral Coral is offline
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Thanks for adding the pictures YR!
Its pouring here today, otherwise would have the chrome and hubcaps laid out and photo'd as well....

To continue...

Life happened, household changes, kids, job change, a Life Decision to relocate out of the city to the country...352 miles from the state I was born and raised in.
My (WI) house was arsoned 20 days before the closing to the new buyers, and this began a 2 year battle for the insurance company to pay the entire claim...in the midst of this 2 yr. period, my credit went into the crapper.

Needless to say, nothing has been done to my Coral since the initial getting her running and the brakes.

My thoughts a month ago, was it was time to admit defeat, I might never BE able to do for her, she might sit and wait until
she crumbles into dust...
So I decided to try and sell her, in my research to check out current information on popularity, car groups, etc. I stumbled across this site, and the link to the T-bird Registry.

As I read through this site, chatted with YellowRose, heard others' stories and saw their cars, I knew I didn't really want to be shed of her, just do what would be right by her.

I'm not sure where this new road will go, but I am sure it will be interesting, LOL

Thanks for reading,
Cathie
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  #8  
Old 04-05-2009, 06:05 PM
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YellowRose YellowRose is offline
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Default My 1960 Squarebird

Hi Cathie!

Thanks for sharing your story with us! I see, like many of us, you to have been through some tough times in your life. But life goes on. You pick yourself back up, and continue on...

Speaking of continuing on, what are you going to work on next with Coral? Engine work, interior, checking gauges to see if they all work, radio, or something different? What can we help you with in your restoration project?

Some of the parts places have a stock of parts cars. I think Bob's Bird House does. I know for sure that Bird Nest does. So does John Draxler, at the Thunderbird Ranch. Here is his information and he is in Wisconsin! You can email or call him if you are looking for parts. If he does not have them, I would be suprised.

http://www.tbirdranch.com/

Other parts places are listed on our Home page on the page or under Links, as I recall. Sorry to hear it was raining up there and you were not able to get more pictures taken..
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'59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
"It's Hip To Be Square"
Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

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http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm
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  #9  
Old 04-05-2009, 06:14 PM
Richard D. Hord Richard D. Hord is offline
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Hey Cathie,
I hope you decide to keep her and restore her. Don't give up! I love to see these old Bird return to there glory. I got my '60 last year and she has about drove me crazy, but I still love her. I never give up on her, I just keep plugging away. She's like a fine women, got be easy on her and treat her with respect. She loves the attention I give her, thats why I named her Christine. Good luck and keep us posted!
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  #10  
Old 04-05-2009, 08:09 PM
tbirds8 tbirds8 is offline
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Welcome To the site Cathie. Life is weird sometimes but you keep goin. Good luck with coral you'll get it going. Almost sold mine (or had to twice) but she's still here. I gotta get this thing done.
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